Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Legend of the Chihuahua

On March 3rd the Disney film Beverly Hills Chihuahua came out, and featured on the DVD was our new animated short, Legend of the Chihuahua. It's a multimedia collage of techniques and styles and was done primarily with Photoshop, Flash and After Effects, including both traditional and digital work. We used computers, scanners, digital cameras, stock photography, hell, even pencils. I say it was ours because we had a very small crew of about a dozen artists working on it.

Phil Pignotti was the Director and he also served as an animation supervisor, storyboard artist, additional bg designer, chief problem solver and the lead creative force behind the project.  I served as Art Director, and I was lucky enough to be given the chance by Phil do quite a few of the backgrounds and much of the After Effects animation and compositing.  My wife Suzannah Szabo was our Animation Producer. She rose to the near-impossible challenge of getting a crazy schedule and a complex project with a dozen busy artists all on the same page so we can get it all together, looking good, on time and on budget, without killing each other. (that last part is the tricky part.......)

Instrumental artists on the crew: Michael D'ambrosio editor and tech wizard. Rafael Hurtado character setup work, bg design and Photoshop Supagenious. Jason Brubaker and Todd Jacobsen on After Effects. Joel Reid, JC Chen, Rob Lilly, Jeff Zikry, Doug Gray and Steven Theis doing Flash animation. Rozalina Tchouchev and Ed Ghertner doing additional background designs. Scott Lowe helping out on the rendering of the final files. Michael Hurwitz, Chris Bonno, Laura Gerow, Peter Michail, Denny Siegel, Jeffrey Plamenig and Joe Whyte all doing voices for either the scratch track or the final short. (If I forgot anybody here, please accept my apologies)

Thanks also go to Sam Hurwitz, Pixel Plantation, and Renegade. This list certainly isn't meant to be an official, all-inclusive list, but being that we were unable to get credited on the end of the short, the talented crew deserves to be mentioned SOMEWHERE.

Thanks to all our crew! All these folks have day jobs at places like Dreamworks, Disney, Film Roman, Cartoon Network and Renegade that leave them dead tired at the end of the day, but everyone still managed to kick ass working on this stuff on their free time and everybody brought their A-game to the project. We couldn't have done it without you guys!!!!